NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Monday marked the first morning rush that subway riders were able to reach the far west side since the opening of the new 7 line extension.
After years of delays and billions of dollars, the 7 train now reaches all the way to 11th Avenue.
On the first heavy day of use, however, one of the station’s brand new escalators broke.
An escalator handrail went off the track at 5:39 a.m. It was fixed, but broke again at 11:05 a.m.
Contractors took the escalator out of service to make adjustments.
The MTA said handrail trouble “tends to happen when new escalators are broken in.”
Aside from that small blip riders were excited to catch a train to the far West Side, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
Service started Sunday afternoon and commuters couldn’t wait for a more efficient way to work.
“Now I can take this to Times Square and jump on the 1 train to go uptown,” said Upper West Side resident Laurie Lombardi.
“It’s awesome we’ve been waiting for it,” said commuter Sibil Sebastian. “It cuts my commute in half.”
“Today we’re heading to the Chinese Consulate,” said Bethany Pojunas of the Lower East Side. “Before we would have had to have taken a pretty crowded bus.”
The brand new Hudson Yards subway station at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue extends the 7 line a mile and a half past Times Square. It’s the only subway stop south of 59th Street that goes west of 9th Avenue.
“It makes it easier for me to get to work, it makes it a much quicker commute,” another rider said.
The new subway stop also provides better access to the newly developed west side neighborhood that includes the Javits Center, Hudson River park and the Highline.
A stop at the $2.4 billion Hudson Yards station is also an experience in itself.
The ceilings are decorated in colorful tile mosaic artwork. It also features air-conditioned platforms and elevators that move diagonally instead of vertically.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it will help boost the local economy in this quickly expanding area.
“It’s going to be a joy to take that first ride and see another great chapter in this city beginning,” he said.
He called the station critical for the Hudson Yards project that’s being developed over the next decade, which is bringing in hotels, housing, restaurants and shopping.
The MTA said at peak times, 25,000 passengers will travel through the new station.
It is the first subway extension in New York City in 25 years.